French to Aid Families of Deported Jews, Refugee Committee Will Seek to Locate Deportees
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French to Aid Families of Deported Jews, Refugee Committee Will Seek to Locate Deportees

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The French Government has decided to grant financial aid to families of Jews deported from France by the Germans, similar to the assistance given families of war prisoners, it was reported today by Maro Yarblum, president of the Federation of Jewish Societies, in the course of a conference with Sir Herbert Emerson, Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees.

The refugee aid director assured Mr. Yarblum that efforts will be made to ascertain the fate of the tens of thousands of Jews who were deported from France to Poland by the Nazis. He said that the committee hopes to obtain, shortly, a report on the number who may still be alive, and that it intends to consult with the Soviet Government on the possibility of securing information as to their whereabouts.

The multitude of difficulties faced by Jewish refugees in France were discussed at the conference, which was also attended by Valentine Smith, French delegate to the Intergovernmental Committee. Sir Herbert, and his aide Dr. Kuhlman, have just completed a survey of the refugee situation in France and Belgium and will leave for Switzerland shortly.

They expressed special interest in the problem of orphaned Jewish children and said that the Committee planned to care for some of them in France, while others will be sent to Palestine, or other lands. Mr. Yarblum pointed out that the number of Palestine certificates allotted recently by the British Government for children in France, Belgium and Switzerland was insufficient.


He also raised the question of whether refugee rehabilitation funds of the Committee might be used to aid the needy Jews of Paris, 30,000 of whom are already registered with the Jewish Federation. Mr. Yarblum suggested that loans be made to artisans and small merchants in order that their earning power could be reestablished. Sir Herbert explained, however, that legal technicalities prevent the committee from allotting such funds. Firstly, the refugees, under still existent French laws, are not permitted to work, and, secondly, those who had been in France long enough, prior to the war, to qualify for employment are no longer considered refugees and are outside the scope of the Committee.

Sir Herbert also discussed the status of German and Austrian Jews in Paris, over 100 of whom are still jailed as enemy aliens. He offered to recommend to the French Government that it follow the policy adopted by England early in the war, when such refugees were speedily investigated and, thereafter, permitted almost complete liberty. He said that he had already made this recommendation to the authorities in Belgium, where a similar situation exists. In Belgium, however, most German Jews have been given their freedom after being vouched for by the central Jewish committee.

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